Hi! I'm Maxine and I'm from the East Midlands. I home school 4 out of 5 children, ages ranging between 8-14 years.
When and why did you decide to Home Educate?
I decided to home educate 2 of my children due to them having special needs and struggling in main stream school. After a house move we decided as a family - rather than my children having to move house and school that I would home school them until they felt settled. My eldest stayed on at his school due to him being at GCSE age.
What kind of approach do you take?
I approached home school with a teacher/school approach thinking I needed a school day timetable and my house needed to replicate a classroom, however, I realised after the first term of teaching my children that we didn't need any of this! My approach now is much more flexible and totally unschooled.
Where do the children do most of their work? and do they distract each other?
My children do most of their work in the kitchen, making things, cooking and doing experiments although we do forest schools so a lot is also outdoor learning too. My children have separate table time where we learn English and maths and complete workbooks, the separate time means that they don't get easily distracted and that they get a little break from each other which is much needed sometimes!
What is your favourite thing about Home Education?
Our favourite thing about home education is that its very much stress free we are free to express ourselves and feel all the overwhelming experiences that learning brings in the comfort of our own home with each other as a family.
What subjects do you teach and do you stick to a timetable?
Each term I plan what subjects I will teach and the children can dip in and out throughout the term we don't have a strict timetable, just tasks and checklists so they can see their progress made.
What do you find most difficult and why?
The most difficult thing I find is that I over think things more - am I teaching enough? That's a big one that plays on my mind a lot.
How do you react to people asking about socialisation, do your children easily socialise and work well with others?
My children have friends that they see at weekends and spend a lot of time socialising with family too, its great for them all to catch up and its one of the things I make sure happens as I think its important for children to build strong positive friendship groups and to not feel isolated. They work well with others and alone and they are very good at supporting others too which is fab! They go to hobby clubs and are good at making friends.
Have family supported your decision?
We have support from our family and they've always supported my decision in parenting choices.
How do you incorporate Physical Education into your Home Ed days?
PE isn't something we struggle with like I initially thought we would, bike riding and trampolining all count! We go for walks with the dog and enjoy cosmic yoga too.
How do you make time for yourself?
I do find time for myself usually in the form of a bubble bath in the evening and a pamper night or an early morning cup of coffee with the birds in the garden.
What advice would you give to someone just starting their Home Ed journey?
My advice to anyone who is thinking about home education is to not over think things! Don't doubt yourself because your children believe in you and if I can do it - then so can you!
Follow along on Maxine's Home Education Journey over on Instagram here.
A Big Thank You to Maxine for taking part in today's Home Ed Q&A. If you would like to join in these chats please email me at email@example.com